Under-Eye Patches Work Better Than Eye Creams. Here’s Why

The crescent-shaped masks are not only soothing but can also treat eye strain, puffiness, fine lines, and pigmentation.

Published On Nov 08, 2021 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


It’s safe to assume that most of us choose our beauty purchases based on what we see on our Instagram feeds. Right from hot and happening trends and cult favourites to workhorse products—we explore the world of beauty doing what we’ve been doing for a while now— scrolling through our Instagram feeds. And if there is one product that we have stumbled across over and over again in the past few years, it’s under-eye patches.

Yes, we’re talking about those crescent-shaped masks that look oh-so-soothing, and let’s face it, damn cool. If you’re wondering whether or not they can actually solve your under-eye problems, we get expert dermatologists to answer all your questions.

But first, let’s understand…

Made from hydrogel, cellulose, and at times even cloth—these half-moon-shaped patches are loaded with active and hydrating ingredients that work on your under-eye patches. Believe it or not, this is exactly what makes them better than regular old eye creams. Explains Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and founder-director of Cutis Skin Solutions (Mumbai), “Under-eye patches release active ingredients in a more sustained manner, unlike creams and ointments which unload all the hydration at once.”

Too much hydration may not seem like a bad thing, but when there is an excess of it around the easily-permeable eye area—you end up with puffiness. “So, when it comes to the under-eye area, too much hydration is a bad thing because that’s where fluid accumulates. It's the area of least resistance,” Dr Goel adds.

If you are not sold on using them under-eye gel patches yet, then here are some benefits that might just bring you on board. Dr Goel suggests using under-eye patches to treat puffiness, fine lines, and pigmentation—against which this product with the right ingredients can actually show some benefits. “These patches can't, however, plump up the hollows under your eyes,” she explains.

Another thing that these under-eye masks can help with is eye strain! It’s no surprise that staring at a screen all day long can do some serious damage to the very-sensitive eye area. We’re talking about dehydration, dark circles, and photo ageing. Well, thankfully under-eye patches can help with all that.

There is absolutely no denying that under-eye patches come loaded with benefits—and are undoubtedly more effective than run-of-the-mill eye creams and serum. However, they are not meant to be used by everyone. “For people with lax under-eye skin, these patches can spell doom in the form of aggravated bags and dark circles,” explains Dr Goel.

How can you tell whether or not you have lax under-eye skin? Well, Dr Goel recommends doing this small experiment at home: Pull your under-eye skin, if it bounces back taut—then your skin is suitable for these products. If it is loose and saggy, you’ve got lax skin.

“The under-eye area is really complicated. Which is why these under-eye patches work better for younger skin, than for sagging and mature skin,” she adds.

Like all other skincare products, it’s only the right ingredients that can make a difference. So, you need to choose under-eye patches that have components that can truly help you. Look for products with the following ingredients:

  1. Hyaluronic acid: This skincare essential hydrates the skin minus the heaviness and greasiness.
  2. Retinol: To fight crow’s feet and wrinkles under your eyes post 30, you need to choose a product with retinol that is completely safe for this sensitive skin.
  3. Caffeine: Coffee might be a very common ingredient in most under-eye products, but that’s only because it works effectively against puffiness.
  4. Neuropeptides: These work to stimulate collage slowly and tighten the skin.
  5. Vitamin C: The quintessential recipe for glowing skin, and for your under-eye area, is vitamin C that works to keep dark circles at bay.
  6. Niacinamide: This B vitamin slowly and steadily helps to fade dark circles.

Now, you may have fallen in love with these wondrous under-eye patches—but you’ve still got to know how to use them the right way. For starters, your face needs to be cleaned before you put them on. Ideally, place the patches after you’ve applied your serum or essence.

“After you put them on, gently massage the eye area with your fingers—starting from the outer corners and moving inwards,” says Dr Goel. “This will help with lymphatic drainage and better absorption of the actives in the patches,” she concludes.

Here are our 5 product under-eye patch recommendations that feature these amazing ingredients


Featuring caffeine, peptides, and retinol—these can help ease dark circles and signs of ageing.


With collagen and vitamin C, this keeps pigmentation away and works at firming up the under-eye skin. 


This one has niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to keep your under-eye skin looking fresh and rejuvenated.


Consider this product to be a treasure trove of ingredients as it comes loaded with peptides, retinol, and squalene—amongst other things—to hydrate, correct, and heal your under-eye skin.


A budget option with caffeine and vitamin C, use this to get rid of puffiness and soothe your under-eye skin. 

Photo: Shutterstock; respective brands